Winter brings so many wonderful things! You pull out your cozy sweaters, sit by the fireplace, and drink hot cocoa. You bake cookies and sweet breads with your family as gifts for friends and neighbors. The promises of the holiday season—festivities, family get togethers, office parties, and gift-giving all bring excitement. Then, you’re ringing in the New Year! With sparkling drinks you stay up until midnight, watching the ball drop. You go to bed with new resolutions and dreaming of the fresh, new start.
However, in the morning, it’s still winter—it’s barren, dark, and cold. It’s back to your regular schedules, where the falling snow suddenly seems more of a burden than a pleasure. The weight of everything being put off—organizing new toys and books, catching back up at home and at work, and putting away the decorations all seem to have piled up. You feel the stress of all the scheduling and the cleaning that you’ve been doing. Your home seems less cozy and festive. I don’t know about you, but the stress post-holiday definitely creeps in around here! So, we’ve come up with a few ways to combat those pesky winter blues.
1. Quiet Time
Allow yourself some quiet time. During the holiday season there were a lot of days off, lazy days indoors, and family time. Suddenly, when you’re back to the hustle and bustle and trying to catch up, you lose out on that extra quiet time. Schedule a night in to rest up and do something you want.
I know it sounds crazy since you just spent a lot of time putting away décor, but take some time to decorate your home if that is something that brings you joy! I know once the garlands, lights, and mantle decorations are gone, it seems a little bare here. Take this time to move things around, add new touches (perhaps even deep clean behind and under things!) that you don’t tend to do the rest of the year. Getting your house in order may help to boost your mood and ease your stress heading into the new year!
3. Game Night
With the holiday season, there are many times you get together with family and friends almost pre-set into your schedule. Now, it almost seems too quiet. The time with loved ones is precious, and it is so easy to carry on throughout the year! Plan a game night—maybe sometimes it’s just family, other times the kids’ friends, and other times a get together for you and your friends.
4. Diet and Exercise
Hey, maybe this one goes along with your resolutions! But, let’s be honest, between all of the sweet treats and gatherings, a healthy diet has been put on the back burner for a while. Find some new healthy recipes to try out with the family, perhaps you’ll add a new one into the rotation. Exercise is also a great stress reliever and mood booster! From yoga to running, any sort of activity that gets you up and moving will help.
5. Reach Out
Whether an old friend, a new acquaintance, or even a stranger—say hello. Start a conversation! Connecting with those around us by investing in friendship or even visiting with an elderly relative or neighbor, can bring many hidden blessings.
6. Act of Kindness
This goes somewhat hand-in-hand with the last idea, but deserves it’s own spotlight. Do a random act of kindness – for a family member, friend, or stranger. The warm, happy feeling you get from giving a nice gift or doing a kind action for those you love during the holidays doesn’t have to stop! Take a few moments to brighten someone else’s day, and you’ll in turn brighten yours as well.
7. Something For You
Spoil yourself a little! Whether you schedule a massage, get a pedicure, or even paint your nails at home, find a little time for you. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the perfect stress reliever to me!
What are your favorite ways to relieve stress after the busy holidays and to combat the winter blues?
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